Values in the workplace: Diversity in meaning and importance

  • Minnette A. Bumpus
  • George Munchus


This study, which was a replication and expansion of the Homant (1970) values study, proposed an alternative conceptualization to the study of value meaning and importance. Value meaning, value importance, and schema were explored through a repeated measures design. As predicted, there was more agreement across subjects of the meaning of nonvalue words than on the meaning of value words. Hypotheses regarding value ranking across sex types, as well as denotative versus connotative value meanings and value importance were not supported. Methodological issues and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Key words

schema value meaning value importance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. BemS. L. (1974). ‘The measurement of psychological androgyny’. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 42 (2), 155–162.Google Scholar
  2. BemS. L. (1981a). Bem Sex-Role Inventory. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  3. BemS. L. (1981b). ‘Gender schema theory: A cognitive account for sex typing’. Psychological Review 88 (4), 354–464.Google Scholar
  4. Copeland, L. (1988). ‘Learning to manage a multicultural work force.’ Training, May, 1988, 48–56.Google Scholar
  5. FeatherN. T. (1975). Values in Education and Society. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  6. FeatherN. T. (1984). ‘Masculinity, femininity, psychological androgyny, and the structure of values’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47 (3), 604–620.Google Scholar
  7. FrancesW. N. and H.Kucera (1982). Frequency Analysis of English Usage: Lexicon and Grammar. Boston: Houghton and Miflin.Google Scholar
  8. GreenbergJ. and R. A.Baron (1993). Behavior in organizations, 4th edition, Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  9. HomantR. (1970). ‘Denotative meaning of values’. Personality 1 (3), 213–219.Google Scholar
  10. JacksonS. E. and E. B.Alvarez (1993). ‘Working through diversity as a strategic imperative’. In: S. E., Jackson and Associates, Diversity in the Workplace, NY: The Guilford Press, pp. 13–29.Google Scholar
  11. JenkinsJ. J. and C. N.Cofer (1957). ‘An exploratory study of discrete free association to compound verbal stimuli’. Psychological Reports, 3, 599–602.Google Scholar
  12. KluckhohnC. (1951). ‘Values and value orientation in the theory of action’. In: T.Parsons and E.Shils (Eds.), Toward a General Theory of Action. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. MarkusH. (1977). ‘Self-schemata and processing information about the self’. Personality Social Psychology 35 (2), 63–78.Google Scholar
  14. MarkusH. Crane, M.Bernstein, and M.Siladi (1982). ‘Self-schemas and gender’. Journal of Personalty and Social Psychology 42 (1), 38–50.Google Scholar
  15. NobleC. E. (1952). ‘An analysis of meaning’. Psychological Review 59, 421–430.Google Scholar
  16. NobleC. E., F. E.Stockwell, and M. W.Pryor (1957). ‘Meaningfulness (m′) and association value (′a) in paired-associated syllable learning’. Psychological Reports 3, 441–452.Google Scholar
  17. O'ReillyC. A.III, J.Chatman, and D. F.Caldwell (1991). “People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit’. Academy of Management Journal 34, 487–516.Google Scholar
  18. OsgoodC. E., G. J.Suci, and P. H.Tannenbaum (1957). The Measurement of Meaning. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  19. RokeachM. (1969). ‘The role of values in public opinion research’. Public Opinion Quarterly 32, 547–559.Google Scholar
  20. RokeachM. (1973). The Nature of Human Values. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  21. RokeachM. and S. J.Ball-Rokeach (1989). ‘Stability and change in American value priorities’. American Psychologist 13, May, 775–784.Google Scholar
  22. ScheinE. H. (1990). ‘Organizational culture’. American Psychologist 45, 109–119.Google Scholar
  23. SchermerhornJr.J. R. (1993). Management for Productivity, 4th edition, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  24. SmircichL. (1983). ‘Concepts of culture and organizational analysis’. Administrative Science Quarterly 28, 339–358.Google Scholar
  25. TaylorS. E. and J.Crocker (1981). ‘Schematic bases of social information processing’. In: E. T.Higgins, C. P.Herman, and M. P.Zanna (Eds.), Social Cognition: The Ontario Symposium, Vol. 1, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. UllmanJ. C. (1986). ‘A new approach to studying values in the workplace’. Southern Regional Industrial Relations Academic Seminar. University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.Google Scholar
  27. Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary. (1984). The Riverside Publishing Co., Boston: Houghton Miflin Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Minnette A. Bumpus
    • 1
  • George Munchus
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Business and AdministrationUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of Management, School of BusinessUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

Personalised recommendations